Louvre Abu Dhabi Scheduled to Open in November 2017 to Showcase Spectacular Artwork
Louvre Abu Dhabi has picked November 11, 2017, as the day it opens its doors to the public. It is the first Louvre-branded museum to open outside Paris and will showcase Mesopotamian post-impressionistic masterpieces and artifacts. It will house about 600 different works of art. 300 art pieces will be on loan from 13 French museums for the Gulf museum’s inaugural year.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi has been called the first universal museum located in the Arab world. Francoise Nyssen, the French Culture Minister, said that the joint response between France and the United Arab Emirates was a welcomed move given the recent attack on culture. Nyssen was speaking at an Abu Dhabi news conference to announce the opening date.
The Gulf museum took ten years to make and is presently opening half a decade behind schedule. The La Belle Ferronniere painted by Leonardo da Vinci is among the works on loan from Paris’ Louvre, which houses the biggest art collection in the world. The self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh is also on loan from the Musee d’Orsay.
The museum’s architecture was designed by Frenchman Jean Nouvel who won the Pritzker Prize. His work is reminiscent and inspired by Arab Medina. Many feel that the heart of the museum lies in its narration of various ancient civilizations told through the many artifacts acquired by the UAE.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s planned opening comes almost a decade after the UAE and France signed a $1.1 billion partnership for 30 years, which will see French museums loan Abu Dhabi art. President Emmanuel Macron was invited to attend the inauguration.
The Abu Dhabi museum’s director Manuel Rabate described it as a complex, ambitious project. There was a heated debate in France following the decision to allow Abu Dhabi to use the Louvre name due to the Arab nation’s record on labor rights. However, Rabate said that despite the setbacks, the museum was exceptional because of its unique nature.
According to Mohamed Khalifa al-Mubarak, the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority Chairman, the new museum will send a message of tolerance. Mubarak believes that culture can make the world a better place.
Mubarak further settled fears over the safety of the loaned art by saying that the Louvre Abu Dhabi has developed specialized systems to protect the art against theft and harsh environmental conditions. All the artwork will be guarded by French experts, Emirati forces, as well as terrorism and civil defense forces.
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